For any business to thrive, the coordination and organization of its business activities are paramount. On many occasions, you will find product managers and project managers working closely together on many projects, but their roles in a company are different.
To help you understand the difference between a project manager and a product manager, you must differentiate between a product and a project. A product is a service or item created by an organization to satisfy customer needs, whereas a project is a task undertaken to develop an item or a service. So, for instance, we could say that the Vulkan slots iGaming site is a product of its parent company Brivio Limited. Meanwhile, the platform itself was a project when it was conceptualized from scratch until it was taken live in 2011.
Are you thinking of a new career path, or are you just wondering who has a cooler job between a project manager and a project manager? Then, keep reading to understand the differences between the two job descriptions.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Product Manager
In any organization, product managers oversee the lifecycle of a product or service from the beginning to the end. That is, they ensure that the product developed meets the organization’s vision and fulfills the customers’ needs. Below are five roles and responsibilities of a product manager:
1. Setting up a Good Strategic Plan
One of the primary responsibilities of a product manager is to lay out their vision and the strategic direction they want a product to take. At any given time, they should clearly explain their product roadmap so that their team understands the reasoning behind it.
2. Define the Release Process
In this stage, a product manager will explain what product they will build and its launch date. That is, they take up the responsibility of managing the product release process and steer the cross-functional teams such as the software development, sales, customer support, and marketing team.
3. Evaluating Product Ideas
Ideas propel innovation. Therefore, all organizations seek grand ideas to develop a successful product. Product managers crowdsource, design, and curate ideas to satisfy customer needs because they spearhead the company’s idea management process.
4. Prioritizing Features
To identify which features to prioritize, product managers rank them against the organization’s strategic goals and initiatives. It means they make tough decisions based on a new feature’s value to the business and consumers. Product managers also work with the engineering department to ensure they meet the technical specifications before delivering the final product to the market.
5. Evaluating and Reporting on the Progress
Product managers focus on the results to ensure the product is performing and in line with the organization’s goals. They need to ask the right questions to understand the product’s progress based on the team’s efficiency and product usage.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Project Manager
A project manager’s role in an organization is to plan, organize, monitor, and direct the completion of projects as they ensure the project is completed on time and within the budget. Here are five roles and responsibilities of a project manager:
1. Planning a Project’s Activities
Planning is a vital factor if you want to meet your deadlines. First, project managers outline a project’s scope and establish available resources. Secondly, they know how to assess their teams’ capabilities and set realistic project timeframes.
Once the project manager ensures the two steps are completed, they design a well-thought-out plan to execute and monitor the project’s progress. However, sometimes projects don’t go as planned, so a project manager should be capable of making the necessary adjustments.
So, for instance, here is how a project manager can effectively set a realistic timeframe:
- Outlining the activity that they want to undertake
- Identifying and documenting the relationship between the project’s activities
- Estimate how long the project will take
- Develop and follow the set schedule.
2. Organizing and Motivating the Project’s Team
To ensure the project runs smoothly, project managers develop clear and concise plans to stimulate the team to realize their full potential. It is done by reducing bureaucracy and leading the crew down an obstacle-free road to the end goal.
3. Estimating Costs and Developing the Budget
It is essential to stay within the company’s or client’s budget. Therefore, any project manager should review the budget along the way to avoid massive overruns before completing the project. In addition, they should communicate the budget allocated to the team.
4. Assessing and Managing Risk
To reduce the chances of loss, an organization must undertake risk management. For example, if you are working on a big project, you might encounter hiccups that you had not expected. So, a project manager identifies, assesses, and manages any risk during the project.
Whoever has the cooler job between a product manager and a project manager is subjective, and in most organizations, the two positions sometimes merge. Moreover, at the end of the day, both professionals are working towards producing a successful product. So if you think about it, both of them are pretty cool positions as they get things done from start to finish.